30 September 2011

Women of Faith

"Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace."
- Proverbs 3:17

What do you get when you put over 18,000 women in one space? Two days packed full of worship time, inspiring and encouraging speakers.... plus laughter, tears, and fellowship.

“God loves us more than we know. He gives us more than we can ask or dream. He's unrestrained ... excessive ... outrageous ... Over the Top” ... that is the theme for the Women of Faith Conference which will be held the next two days in downtown Denver.

In case you’ve never heard of Women of Faith, it is a faith-based women’s organization encouraging women of all ages and stages in life to grow in faith and spiritual maturity through a relationship with Jesus Christ and an understanding of God’s love and grace. Each conference offers an amazing schedule of special guest speakers, and musical guests.

I will be attending the conference with a group of my “Sisters in Christ” from church, and we are so excited because the line up for the weekend includes: Amy Grant, Mandisa, Sandi Patty, Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, Lisa Whelchel, Brenda Warner, Katharine Everett, and my favorite Christian fiction writer, Karen Kingsbury. What an amazing group of women ... lovin’ the Lord and sharing their faith!

This week I was reading an article and came across the following question, “Can you imagine your name being listed along with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and Moses in God’s list of the faithful?” 
I thought to myself, “What about Sarah, Rahab, Deborah, Mary and Martha?”

Despite the customs of biblical times, Jesus frequently surprised his followers by the way he ministered to women. They were real people to Jesus.

God expects both men and women to be faithful, to be in relationship with Him, and to live according to His word.  Colossians 2:7 tells us, "Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith."

What does being a “woman of faith” mean to you? I’m not going to answer that question today, but be sure to check back next week for my “after conference” blog ... including photos and updates from this weekend’s event.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle ... action required ... Why not find a few minutes this weekend to share your faith with other women? Here are a few suggestions to get you started...

• Gather some women together and listen to some of your favorite Christian music.
• Meet at a coffee shop to discuss your favorite scripture verses.
• Invite some friends over for lunch and share how God is working in your lives.
• Organize a prayer walk with other women from your neighborhood.

I’d love to hear other creative ideas that you come up with to share your faith with other women.

By the way, don’t forget that Courageous opens in theaters today. From the creators of Fireproof.... another amazing movie!

HONOR BEGINS AT HOME ... Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. Law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood.

Hope you have an unrestrained, excessive and outrageous weekend.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Walk the Walk of Faith- author unkown

28 September 2011

Kidz Topic: STUDY

This is a new segment of my blog where I will be sharing a variety of thoughts, scripture verses, and “sparkle” ideas just for kids.  Feel free to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or any other young people that God has put in your life.  

KIDZ PEACE ...No matter what your age or grade, learning new things is part of our everyday life.  Whether we are learning to tie our shoes, learning to drive a car, or learning a new job, we are faced with tasks that we have never done before.

I graduated from high school many (many) years ago, got a job, and never went to college.  Two years ago I decided that I wanted to get my college degree.  The challenges of learning never stop - even for someone my age.  One of the hardest things for me has been finding good study habits that work around my job and other activities.  It has been found that too often students do poorly in school because they lack good study habits.  Thank goodness, if we learn good study habits at a young age, we never forget.  It's like riding a bike - once you learn "how," you can do it even if you haven't done it for a long time. 

1.  Good study habits:

Pay attention and take good notes in class
• Have one special place to write down your assignments (it will help keep you organized)
• Choose a good location for studying (a desk or work table away from interruptions, good lighting), and set a regular time to study
• Have the necessary supplies in your study space (box of pencils, pens, markers, ruler, scissors, stapler, paper, etc)
• Be sure to study ahead of time for tests (don’t wait until the night before)
• Plan ahead for projects and set aside enough time to complete (be organized and break the project down in to small goals)
• Ask for help if you need it (parents, teachers, counselors, older brothers and sisters)
• Getting a good night sleep is important for effective studying (set a regular bedtime)

2.  What does God's Word tell us?

When we go to God in prayer and read His word we find instruction on many different topics. Scripture also tells us about the importance of learning, "Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God” -1 Chronicles 22:19.  Check out these verses: Proverbs 9:9, Proverbs 1:5, Ecclesiastes 1:13.

3. Spiritual study habits:

Every Christian young or old needs to get to know God better. We need to be consistent... in order to make our spiritual studies a “habit.” To do this, we need to set up a schedule that works around our other activities and seek God every day. Spiritual study includes:

Devotional “quiet” time
• Prayer time
• Bible study (reading God’s word)
• Memorizing scripture
• Fellowship with other believers (weekly Sunday school, youth group, Christian concerts)

Kidz Thought for the Week: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” - from Walt Disney

Keeping you in my prayers. 'til next week ... study hard and always do your best!
God's Peace, Donna

26 September 2011

Burdens, Blessings and a Friend

“I will be with you always.”
– Matthew 28:20

I’ve been writing a lot lately about friendship and gratitude. We’ve talked about needing friends, being a friend, and about the blessings that can be found if we are thankful in all things.

Today at church the two topics came together in a surprising way. Our pastor has been doing a sermon series entitled “The God of All Comfort,” and the message he shared today was about the comfort of steadying strength, based on 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Below I am sharing some points the Pastor made, supporting scripture verses, and my thoughts from today’s message.

1) Find Refuge in the Lord.
Scripture: “Pour out your heart to God, for He is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).
Thought: Pouring out our heart ... Isn’t that what we do when with our best friend? We have common interests, share everything, listen to each other, care about and encourage one another, and give/ seek advice.

I was reminded of the song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, written by Joseph Scriven in the 1800’s. Over two hundred years later, his words still assure us that Jesus will bear our sins and grief, our trials and temptations, our troubles and heavy loads. The song still reminds us what a “privilege” it is to carry everything to the Lord in prayer, and that He will never forsake us.

In Acts 4:13, it was evident that Peter and John were truly friends of Jesus. People could tell they were followers of Jesus by the changes in their lives. I asked myself, “Am I truly a friend of Jesus? Do my actions reflect the refuge I find in the Lord?”

2) Reject a Bitter Spirit.
Scripture: “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you ... it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives” (Hebrews 12:15).
Thought: Bitterness corrodes from the inside out, but it is impossible to be bitter when you have a spirit of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that we need to give thanks to God IN all circumstances. It does not say FOR our circumstances.

During our communion service a soloist sang Blessings which is a popular song performed by Christian artist Laura Story. When we share everything with a friend, we acknowledge the good and the bad. The same is true with being thankful. Through our gratitude we are given insight to God’s work in every aspect of our lives (even the blessings which may come through difficult times – our “mercies in disguise).

3) Remind myself of the strength of the Lord’s Resources.
Scripture: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).
Thought: Everyone longs for friendship, to be in relationships. But unfortunately our earthly friendships eventually come to an end. God desires a relationship with us too, but it is a different kind of connection - His is an eternal friendship.

Today I was reminded that there had to be weakness in order for there to be power in the resurrection. When Joseph Scriven wrote the words to the song “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” he wrote from the pain and experience of his grief, burdens, trials, and sorrow.

John 15:13 tells us, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” God has asked us to practice that same sacrificial love with others. When we acknowledge our blessings, we can truly see the goodness, power, and strength of the Lord. It is important to share that knowledge and truth with others. “Do I have a friend that needs to know this kind of love?”

Today I am thankful that I have a best friend. His name is Jesus. He wants to be your friend too. We should never take any friendship for granted, so this week ... visualize Jesus walking, working, and standing beside you throughout the day - speak to Him as you would your best friend. “In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there” (Scriven, J).

May you find peace “in His arms” today and every day.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Don’t walk in front of me. I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me. I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend.
- Albert Camus

23 September 2011

Everyday People

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another;
be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble”
- 1 Peter 3:8

In the late 60’s there was a song entitled, “Everyday People,” which was sung by the group Sly and the Family Stone. [WOW ... I guess I’m really showing my age]. Anyway, the lyrics were pleas for peace and equality between differing races and social groups. One of the main verses started out saying, “I am no better and neither are you, we're all the same whatever we do.” Those words are just as true today as they were in the 60’s. The world is still seeking peace and unity, and we continue to want essentially the same thing – to coexist with one another, and live a long and fruitful life. The last line of the song is the key to the answer. It says, “I am everyday people.”

Living in harmony becomes difficult when we focus on our differences. We need to keep in mind that the similarities we share with any person far outweigh the differences. And the fact is that we all have more to gain by working together, rather than against each other. Truth is that we are all more alike than we would care to admit. The Bible confirms this truth in the words of Romans 12:16 – “Live in harmony with each other.  Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don’t think you know it all!”

Sometimes the only differences between people come from the opportunities they have been given, or the resources that are available to them. Other times the way we deal with our struggles set us apart from each other.  As I read the following words, I realized that no matter what we may think of ourselves, we are all “everyday, ordinary people" ...

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Ask yourself - Who does God choose to do His work here on earth?  It’s just ordinary, everyday people ... like you and me ... not perfect people or spiritual giants. Acts 4:13-14 gives us a great example... “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.”

It’s so important to realize that if we are at peace with ourselves, it is easier to be at peace with others.   So let’s take a quick personal assessment by answering the following three questions:

1. Am I making the most of my life?

2. When I look in the mirror do I like what I see?

3. Do I spend each day looking for ordinary, everyday people to meet?

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle ... action required ...  We need to heed the powerful words of Matthew 5:47 ... “And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

Take time this weekend to recognize the fact that every human being has the ability to add something of value to our world. As we encounter other ordinary, everyday people, let’s appreciate the diversity that comes from our differences. Listen to others when they talk to you – give them your undivided, non-judgmental attention. And finally, offer positive, constructive, and caring words and actions, so that the same are returned to you ... remember, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).

Let’s do our part to make this world a more peace-filled place. Have fun meeting common, ordinary, everyday people ... people just like you and me.

God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Talent is God-given – Be thankful.
Praise is man-given – Be humble.
Conceit is self-given – Be careful.
- Dave Driscoll

21 September 2011


This is a new mid-week segment of my blog where I will be sharing a variety of thoughts, scripture verses, and “sparkle” ideas just for kids. Feel free to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or any other young people that God has put in your life.

KIDZ ☮ PEACE ...Whether you are at home, school or at church, playing sports, or hanging out with friends, there are rules that need to be followed. We need to obey our parents, teachers, coaches, police, employers, and many other responsible adults.

Rules have not been created just to make things hard for us. They have not been set because someone wants to control our lives, or be mean to us. Rules have been put in place because someone cares about us, and is looking out for us.

1. Why do we need to be obedient?

• When we are obedient we show respect for others
• Obeying rules keeps us safe
• Helps us work together as a team or group
• We learn to set boundaries

2. What does God’s Word tell us?

There are rules that God wants us to follow every day. Have you ever heard of the 10 Commandments? They are a list of 10 laws God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai and are just as important today as they were in Bible times. God’s commandments give us rules to follow so we can live a life that is Christ-like.

Learning the 10 Commandments and being able to say them by heart not only helps us to live each day as a Christian, but if we memorize them we can share with others who may be struggling in their daily walk. You can find the 10 Commandments in your Bible… just turn to Exodus 20:1-17. Why not study one commandment a day. Read it over and over again until you can recite it by memory and in just 10 days you will know all of the 10 Commandments.

Here are some other Bible verses about obedience... check out Colossians 3:20, John 15:10-12, Leviticus 25:18, 1 John 2:5

3. What happens when we do not obey?

When we do not obey the rules and boundaries that have been set, we may get punished by our parents, have detention at school, get kicked off of a team, or even get arrested... someone could get hurt... but worst of all our disobedience makes God unhappy.

Kidz Thought for the Week:  “When in doubt, don't”  -  Benjamin Franklin

Keeping you in my prayers. 'til next week, when you are tempted to break the rules just ask God to help you be obedient!

God's Peace, Donna

19 September 2011

Simply Smile!

“A smile is the beginning of peace.”
– Mother Teresa

I can’t believe that I am seriously posting the picture above for the whole world to see ... but today I found smiles, joy and peace while reminiscing.

It all started when some of my high school friends posted old photos of our high school football team on FaceBook. Oh the memories ... Friday night football games, performing with the marching band during half time (thus the majorette picture above), post-game bonfires, bus rides home from away games, and of course, teenage sleepovers (hair in rollers and dippity doo) ... ahhh, those where the days.  ‘smile’

This weekend my granddaughter went to a homecoming dance and today she downloaded some of the pics ... the memories continued.... and so did the ‘smiles.’

I must confess that all the smiles not only made my cheeks hurt, but filled me with a spirit of peace. Realizing the change in my mood, I got to thinking about the benefits of smiling. There are so many reasons to smile. Smiling makes perfect strangers respond to us in positive, encouraging ways and opens the door for comfortable conversations.

Smiles also:

• change our mood – and can even change the mood of others around us
• improve our confidence
• help us stay positive
• make us more approachable
• are contagious

Studies have shown that smiles can be good for our health in the following ways:

• can lighten our spirits
• relieve anxiety and stress – lower blood pressure
• increase our immune system
• lift the face and make a person look younger

The final (and best) reason to smile can be found in the scripture: "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit" (Proverbs 15:13).

If you seem to be having trouble finding your smile lately, try this little exercise. Using a pen and paper, draw a line down the middle of the page from top to bottom. On the left hand side, list things that rob you of peace and happiness. On the right hand side, list things that make you smile. At the top of the list on the left write THESE THINGS WILL NOT STEAL MY PEACE... and at the top of the list on the right, write I WILL CHOOSE TO SMILE TODAY.

Understanding what makes us frown or smile, and remembering that we have a choice, will bring peace to our lives. This week take pleasure in the little things. Remember what made you smile when you were younger and allow the memories to bring a smile to your face!

Smile and the whole world smiles with you!
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Sweet peace is crowned with smiles.
– Henry Vaughan

16 September 2011

TO-DO lists & Shared Blessings

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing
better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and
enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness
along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun”
- Ecclesiastes 8:15

This morning I woke up and found it hard to climb out of bed. It wasn’t because I was tired, or was struggling to get to work... the reason was that my “to-do” list for my day off was so long that I dreaded trying to decide where to begin.  So, I grabbed a cup of hot cocoa, and with pen in hand, put a big X on my to-do list. Then I took out my blessings journal and began to add to my “thankful list.”

... a day off of work
... a sunny, cool morning
... freedom to choose my activities

As I was writing in my journal I noticed some other blessings that my friend, Peggy had written in my shared blessings journal when we had swapped books:

... the smell and taste of coffee
... hum of the dishwasher
... the feeling when a task is finished

Our “shared blessings journey” continues as we thank God in all things; the little joys, the unexpected blessings, and yes, even the hardships, disappointments, and challenges.  As I acknowledge my blessings, my "to-do's" don't seem so overwhelming.  Today instead of worrying about everything that I may or may not get done today, I will continue to thank God for the small things and He will help me prioritize the rest of my day.

Problem: Any to-do list can get out of control, becoming overwhelming and un-doable. When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, we can become less productive and even dysfunctional.

Solution: It is important to recognize that our time and energy is limited. We have but 24 hours in each day. We need to be sure to find time for God, time to take care of ourselves (exercise and rest), time to nurture relationships (family and friends) ... and we need to make sure our to-do list balances that reality.

Prevention: In order to avoid being overwhelmed in the future, I’ve come up with an idea. There are so many projects I want to do, but so many others I need to do - so I decided to write down my fun list – the things I WANT to do. This will be an on-going list so that when I do have a few minutes free, I can look at my list and find something I enjoy (fun, relaxing, stress-free) “to do.” I plan to keep my NEED to-do list to a maximum of 3 items. These items will most likely be time sensitive, urgent or a necessity. As I accomplish these tasks I can add to my list, but not before one is crossed off.   Today I’ve realized:

• After my time with God, work, school, and scheduled commitments, I have limited time available.

• It is important to be “thankful” ... when we realize our blessings first, we appreciate each and every minute of the day we have been given.

• I don’t have to have a “spring housecleaning” mentality every time I have a day off.... some tasks can wait until another day.

• It’s okay to think of a day-off as if I was “playing hooky” – maybe stay in my pj’s and read ALL DAY, or throw on a pair of jeans and head out for a day of garage sale-ing with lunch at my favorite coffee-shop, or maybe spend the day hanging out with a friend.

My new goal for today is to have fun and do some creative projects, and in between I may even tackle my 3 item list. Cleaning my bathroom before I get started on an art project, a few important phone calls during my afternoon break, and a couple loads of laundry tucked between my writing time this evening ... now that sounds like a schedule that God & I can handle together.

I can't wait to get started, I’m looking forward to a peace-filled day!  This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it ... and when this day is over, I will thank God for the many blessings He has provided along the journey. 

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... action required... Did you know that this Sunday, September 18th is National Back to Church Sunday. “Back to Church Sunday,” is a national movement to reverse declining church attendance and encourage former church-goers to rediscover church.

Although 83 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christians, only about 20 percent attend church on any given Sunday. Yet, a study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board of over 15,000 Americans found that 67 percent say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church. Fifty-six percent say an invitation from a friend or neighbor would likely move them to respond.

God has called us to relationships, To walk through life with other believers.  So, this weekend why not SPARKLE and invite someone to your church.  Let God touch their hearts through your act of invitation. Remember the words of Colossians 1:6, “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours.”

Keeping our eyes focused on God, and our priorities aligned with His will for us, will give us a life of peace.  Share His peace... other's will be greatful!

Have a great weekend.
God's Peace, Donna Weaver

NOTEKIDZ PEACE will now be posted on Wednesdays instead of Fridays.  Same place, different day .. be sure to check out the mid-week inspiration and encouragement for kids of all ages. 

13 September 2011

Love Letters from God

Today I am so excited to be able to share a post with you that is a little different from my usual weekly message. It’s still about PEACE but it’s also about one of my other favorite topics ... words of encouragement.

In his book, The Five Languages of Love, author Gary Chapman explains that everyone’s emotional needs are met in different ways. It is important to learn not only to speak the love language of others, but it is also necessary to let others know our love language. The five love languages include receiving gifts, acts of service, spending quality time, physical touch, and words of affirmation.

What is your love language?

Words of affirmation are definitely my love language. When I open my mailbox and find a greeting card containing a personal message ... I feel loved!  Research shows that over one-third of adults have a pile of cards they have kept for that exact reason – the sentiment touched their heart!

Not only do I love receiving cards, but I am also an encourager so I enjoy sending cards. There are many times I feel prompted by prayer requests, thoughts, emails, FaceBook messages, or a tugging at my heart, to let someone know that they are on my mind – that I care. I don’t know about you, but I just love finding greeting cards that include words of encouragement, scripture, and the perfect sentiment. I must not be alone, because the Greeting Card Association says that U.S. consumers purchase approximately 7 billion greeting cards annually.

Some of my favorite cards are from DaySpring. I like the fact that their mission is “to help people share their heart and God’s love.” It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa.  She once said, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”   There are many people in this world that need a love letter ... words of encouragement, words of affirmation. DaySpring understands those needs and offers us many products with the perfect Christian messages designed to share God's love.

Holley Gerth, counselor, lifecoach, and writer for DaySpring, has a new line of products called God’s Heart Collection. In her new book, God’s Heart for You, Holley takes us on a journey through God’s Heart. She shares the truth about being accepted, forgiven, secure, and wanted. She reminds us that God loves us just as we are – beautifully and wonderfully made!

God’s Word contains many words of encouragement ... messages of hope, strength, comfort, joy, friendship, peace, and so much more. Scripture expresses God’s love for me and instructs me to share that love with others. The words of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 say, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Holly has asked her readers to complete the following sentence:  "In God’s Heart I am..."  

When my heart is filled with God's Love, the overflow can be passed along to others through my words of encouragement. So, here is how I’ve completed Holley’s statement:

In God’s Heart I am ...
filled with encouragement and peace,

Items in Holley’s new collection include:

• God’s Heart for You Book
• God’s Heart Companion Journal
• God’s Heart 2012 Calendar
• God’s Heart Card Pack

DaySpring gave me a free God’s Heart Card Pack to review in return for my honest opinion about their product. No other compensation was provided. I’m excited to be sharing my product review with you.

Product Review: The assorted pack of ten quality cards (and envelopes) was inspired by Holley's devotional, God's Heart for You: Embracing Your True Worth as a Woman. Each card includes a very unique Christian message about grace, hope, perseverance, and encouragement, along with a related Scripture verse. Many of the cards I send are to friends that I don’t get to see every day, so I especially liked some of the verses that shared a message of “keeping in touch across the miles.” One such message started out by saying, “If we could have coffee today, I’d sit across the table from you and say...”  - I know just the person I am going to be sending that one to!

DaySpring’s attention to details – from the eye-catching artwork, beautiful printing, and amazing packaging make this product a great idea for gift-giving, too.

Because the God’s Heart Collection is sold exclusively through Blessings Unlimited, (DaySpring’s direct selling business), it is not available in local stores that carry other DaySpring products. The Blessings Unlimited catalog reflects an exclusive selection of home décor, gift items and cards. All of the products are sold exclusively through Consultants. For more information –to shop online, find a Consultant’s website, host a Gathering, or become a Consultant, click here:

We talk a lot about making a difference in the lives of others, but our lives change too – for the better, when we invest in relationships. Remember, words of affirmation do make a difference! !

Encourage one another ...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

I’d love to hear how you complete Holley’s statement,
“In God’s Heart I am...”
Post your comment below.

09 September 2011

Financial Peace

Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your
produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats
will overflow with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9-10

Did you know that financial matters are mentioned more often in the Bible than prayer, healing, and mercy?

Our country is going through very harsh economic times, and the state of the country’s finances has impacted each of us in one way or another. John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Financial difficulties can steal our peace, kill our potential for being all that God has called us to be, and destroy relationships. How can we have an “abundant life” if our finances hinder the plans that God has in store for us?

Over 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and I have to admit that I am included in those percentages. So what are our choices to surviving the emotional stress caused by financial difficulties? How can we balance a life of peace with challenges of the world around us? Is there really a way to not only survive but be prosperous? The six steps below will give us a great start to finding hope, strength, and guidance in dealing with our financial issues.

Seeking Peace during Financial Difficulties:

1. Seek Him through prayer, scripture and thanksgiving
2. Tithe faithfully - even in challenging financial times
3. Set up a simple budget – it will help you determine where you are financially, where you want to be
4. Integrity and moral values – don’t let circumstances control your attitude or your choices
5. Do not covet – don’t want what is not yours, or something you can’t have (or afford)
6. Do your part – evaluate your overspending habits and look at where you can cut-back (unnecessary expenses, splurges)

What the Bible tells us:

The Bible warns that the pursuit of money can cause problems in one's faith and in other areas of life. Ecclesiastes 5:10 notes, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless."

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Peace can take the place of worry when we turn our burdens over to God.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2)

“Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him” (Psalm 4:3)

Financial Peace University:

Another valuable tool to developing financial success and stability is a program called Financial Peace University. Radio talk show host, Dave Ramsey, began teaching people how to get out of debt because he wanted them to avoid the financial mistakes he had made. One of the things Dave Ramsey says is: “Normal is BROKE! So be weird!” and Financial Peace University will show you exactly how to do that; how to start eliminating debt so you’re free to do things you’ve always wanted to do!

In 13 action-packed lessons, we are given information that can change our lives. Each weekly session starts with Dave Ramsey teaching on video and is followed by a small group discussion, so we can learn together how to be faithful stewards of the financial resources we have been given. The classes break the process down into easy steps that will help no matter where you are. Here is an overview of each week's topic:

1. Super Savings - 7 baby steps to get started and 3 key reasons to save
2. Relating with Money - importance of teamwork & teaching kids about money
3. Cash Flow Planning - developing a month spending plan
4. Dumping Debt - common debt myths
5. Credit Sharks in Suits - understanding credit scores & how to handle collectors
6. Buyer Beware - power and influence of marketing
7. Clause and Effect - insurance needs
8. That’s Not Good Enough - secrets of buying big bargains
9. Of Mice and Mutual Funds – investments
10. From Fruition to Tuition - college planning & retirement options
11. Working in Your Strengths - tips for job hunting, resume writing, interview techniques
12. Real Estate and Mortgages - buying or selling your home
13. The Great Misunderstanding - generous giving

To learn more about Financial Peace University, find a class near you, or attend an online class - https://fpuonline.daveramsey.com/

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle ... action required ... With the 9/11 Anniversary coming up on Sunday, there is still time to make a commitment to K-Love’s  Million Lives Campaign” and encourage, serve and help someone this weekend. You can click here to check out K-Love’s challenge and make your commitment: http://www.klove.com/ministry/make-a-difference.aspx

Go in Peace and Serve the Lord.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“If there is to be any peace it will come through being,
not having.” – Henry Miller

Great site... 250 Bible Verses about Money - http://christianpf.com/money-in-the-bible/


This is a new segment of my blog where I will be sharing a variety of thoughts, scripture verses, and “sparkle” ideas just for kids. Feel free to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or any other young people that God has put in your life.

KIDZ ☮ PEACE ... Perseverance is a big word. I looked it up in the dictionary so I could give you the correct definition. It means to continue, patient effort, persistence - in other words, to keep trying without giving up, even when the going gets tough.

1. How to Persevere:

• One way to learn to persevere is to set some goals. Working toward and meeting “mini-goals” helps us see our accomplishments along the way. By meeting our goals, we are encouraged not to give up.

• Ask for help. When we share our struggles, we learn that we are not alone and there is strength in team-work. Having someone else share can give us an extra boost of determination.

• Don’t make excuses or use unfortunate circumstances as a reason to reason to quit. You can do it!

• Learn what God tells us about perseverance.

2. Historic Examples of Perseverance:   Abraham Lincoln once said, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” We all know that Mr. Lincoln experienced many successes in his life. After all, he was our 16th President, but did you know that he also had many struggles in his life. His business failed and he had many political defeats before he was elected President, but he PERSEVERED. He had courage, boldness, self-discipline, determination, and a positive attitude. And because of those qualities he succeeded.

The Bible is full of stories about hurting and suffering people, but it also gives us many stories that show great perseverance. The story of Abraham is a wonderful example. Abraham was called “friend of God” and “father of many nations,” but that did not make him untouchable. He was still affected by many challenges and very difficult times. God even tested Abraham to see if he still loved God, but even after everything Abraham had gone through he knew that God gives his best to those who are willing to give him their best. God blessed him abundantly (Genesis 13:2 and 24:1).

There are many other examples of people in the Bible who endured great struggles and difficult times, but through faith they persevered. Check out stories about Noah, Joseph, Hannah, Moses, David.

3. What does God’s Word tell us?   Check these verses out to read more about perseverance: Romans 5:3, Hebrews 12:1, James 1:2-3, James 5:11

4. Examples of Perseverance in our Lives ...

Did you ever have a project you were working on and everything was going wrong? If you stuck to it, how did it make you feel when the project was done?

Did you ever take a hard test and right in the middle you wanted to quit or cheat? If you did the right thing - tried your best and completed the test without any help, how did you feel?

Did you ever try to run a race or play a sport for the first time? If you kept at it, how did it make you feel to finish the race, or complete the game?

When things get tough and we feel like giving up, we need to remember the words found in “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Remember that with God nothing is impossible – without God nothing is possible.

Kidz Thought for the Week: “The only thing worse than quitting, is never starting.”  - author unknown

Keeping you in my prayers.  'til next week, finish the race ... persevere!
God's Peace, Donna

08 September 2011

Ancient Chinese Secret?

“I do not want the peace which passeth understanding,
I want the understanding which bringeth peace.” – Helen Keller

I love Chinese food, so once a week I treat myself and drive through the local Panda Express for take-out.  I arrive home, put my jammies on, and enjoy my sweet-fire chicken... yum yum! A few days ago that is exactly what I did. After I had finished eating, I was working on my computer, and remembered that the fun part of the meal was still in the bottom of my bag. I dug it out and with anticipation I broke open my fortune cookie.

Can you believe it... there are approximately 3 billion fortune cookies made each year, and I got one without a fortune inside.

The humor of it got the best of me... I laughed until my eyes were so filled with “happy” tears that I could hardly focus on the computer screen any longer. As I looked at the broken cookie, I thought to myself, “Now what do you suppose this means.” Sometimes the tiny piece of paper will set me to dreaming of when I might “become rich and famous.” Other times, I ponder the thought about how I am going to “meet this special someone” that a piece of paper has said would be coming in to my life. Then there are the times when I feel challenged to work a little harder, to push myself more, because words randomly placed in a cookie told me that “success is in my future.”


God tells me that I am beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). He declares that “He knows the plans he has for me” (Jeremiah 29:11) – and I know that His plans are always better than I could ever imagine. I’ve also been promised that if I listen to instruction and trust in the Lord, I will prosper and be filled with joy (Proverbs 16:20). So, why am I putting so much importance in the words found in a “cookie?”

Matthew 6:30 says, “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”


Maybe it was all part of God’s plan that I should get an “empty” fortune cookie! What do you think? After all, it gave me laughter (joy) and something to ponder (be still, and focus on the Lord). Yep, He is definitely in control!

Hope your day is filled with laughter and God’s abundant blessings!
Peace and Love, Donna Weaver

“This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:2

07 September 2011

In Remembrance

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your
hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” - John 14:27

It’s less than one week until the 10th anniversary of September 11. I don’t know about you but the details of that horrible day seem just as clear as if it were yesterday. I remember being glued to the television for what seemed like weeks.... the images still ingrained in my memory. I will never forget!

I’ve been praying about what I could do this year to honor those who lost their lives 10 years ago. My prayers were answered by something I heard on the radio.  K-Love has launched the “Million Lives Campaign” to help commemorate the 9/11 anniversary. They are asking their listeners to make a commitment to encourage, serve, and help others in a single day. What better way to show we care and to send the message that we have not forgotten, than to make a difference in the lives of others!

This week K-Love is participating in community projects, and the afternoon DJ’s, Scott and Kelli are broadcasting their show live from NYC. Don’t miss special guests, community leaders, and listeners as they share their 9/11 stories and the plans they have for involvement in the National Day of Service.

Here are some ways you can get involved in “making a difference”...

• Volunteer (with your children) at a local homeless shelter, food bank, or soup kitchen

• Pitch in and clean up the yard of a neighbor who is ill or who has had surgery recently

• Find a person who is homeless – give them a few dollars, buy them a meal, or simply talk to them

• Plant a tree in your neighborhood

• Give blood

• Say a special “thank you” to community workers (police, firemen, road crews, mail carrier, garbage man...)

If you need help finding other service projects, christianvolunteering.com offers a list of volunteer opportunities including local needs, volunteer opportunities from home, short term missions, and much more.

To find opportunities in your community, visit http://christianvolunteering.org

Over 6,354 K-Love listeners have already made a commitment to the “Million Lives Campaign.” Can you imagine if one million people set out in the spirit of togetherness and remembrance to make a difference in someone’s life?  I’ve signed up... and plan to send some thank you notes this week to people that make a difference in my community.  On my way to church on Sunday, I am going to buy a cup of coffee for a stranger in hopes that they will pass it on.   So, how are you going to honor those who lost their lives? I’d love to hear what you will be doing on 9/11 ... feel free to post a comment.

You can click here to check out K-Love’s challenge and make your commitment: http://www.klove.com/ministry/make-a-difference.aspx

As we observe the 9/11 remembrances on Sunday, take time to pray that God will use each one of us to help restore hope to the hurting and lost in our world. One person, one day at a time... together we can “make a difference.”

God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Peace is not something you wish for, it’s something
you make, something you do, something you are,
and, something you give away.” – Robert Fulghum

06 September 2011

Messages from the Mountains

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good
news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim
salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” – Isaiah 52:7

I live amidst the mountains of Colorado. When I look at them I am always in awe of God’s majesty. I am also reminded that mountains were one of Jesus’ favorite places. He went to the mountainside to pray (Luke 6:12), and to appoint the twelve disciples and send them out to preach (Mark 3:14). In the Bible we also read about the mountains of Ararat - the place where the ark came to rest (Genesis 8:4), Mt. Sinai where Moses was given the tablets of stone - the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24), Mt. Zion (the mountain of the Lord), and the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

God can deliver a sermon from any mountain He chooses. This past weekend God spoke to me from Walton’s Mountain. You might be laughing, but it’s true. Sunday I watched a “Walton’s marathon” and was caught up in stories about family values, watching out for your neighbor, living within your means, priorities, morals, responsibilities, encouragement, and simple faith. It was refreshing, a nice change from the crime series, and reality TV shows that are produced now-a-days.

Here are some thoughts that were inspired by Walton’s mountain:

#1 – Have you ever had a time when you felt you could not pray? Maybe you felt like there was no one listening? Sometimes we are only listening for God to give us the answers we want to hear. Many times those are the ONLY answers we are listening for, but God may be answering us in other ways – with answers we do not want to hear, or he may be asking us to wait... for answers spoken in His timing. It is in those times we need to be strong in our faith.

#2 – Have you ever felt like running away, like you’re looking for something but you don’t even know what you’ve lost? Are the problems and demands of everyday life closing in on you? Do you need space – room to breathe? We all need time for ourselves, time to refresh, time with God, time to do the things we enjoy - things that make us who we are.

#3 – Have you ever had to complete a huge project all by yourself? Did you grow weary or experience feelings of anger and self-pity? Whether it’s a family, a small group, a congregation, or a community working together we need to remember that many hands lighten the load.

#4 – Have you ever had to stand up for your family name, your race, or defend your religious beliefs ... or stood by someone else as they defended their rights, points of view, or beliefs? Would you be willing to suffer or die for what you believe is true? Would you have stood up for Jesus in biblical times, or denied Him three times like Peter?

Today I re-read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12). Jesus taught about the goodness of living in the kingdom of God, the subjects that lived there, and the blessings of God’s people. The people of God’s kingdom were described as the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers, and those who are persecuted because of righteousness. The blessings Jesus promised for the people of God’s kingdom were those of being comforted, inheriting the earth, shown mercy, seeing God, being called the children of God, and best of all, theirs would be the kingdom of heaven.

I think each of us can find a bit of ourselves in the descriptions of the people of God’s kingdom. And as God’s people, we enjoy His blessings here on earth tand look forward to the greatest fulfillment of His blessings in our eternal life.

Lessons from the mountains taught me two things ... first, God’s word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And second, the lessons from Walton’s mountain weren’t really that different from the teachings of Jesus.’  So, where will you hear God’s voice today?

Peace and Love, Donna Weaver

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33

05 September 2011

The Reality of POVERTY

“Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity
within thy palaces.” – Psalms 122:7

The lack of basic daily necessities is usually associated with third world countries and not very often with America, the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, it is a reality in our world today, because along with opportunity comes a desire for more possessions, more money, more status, more, and more, and more. Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and learn to be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you.'" We are living in a material world – that fact has been stated over and over again, but now it’s time to address one of the results that can come from our greed, our love of money, our need for more ... the reality of poverty.

Poverty can be defined as the condition of a person who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Sometimes this is based on a” socially acceptable” level of resources or income as determined by a specific community or society. There is also “absolute poverty, better known as destitution, which refers to being unable to afford basic human needs, such as food, clean water, shelter, clothing, health care, and education. In our world there are many people in varying levels of poverty.

Due to some changes going on at work, my hours have recently been cut back. It has made a huge financial impact on my budget, but I try to remember that I am still blessed. After all, there are many others that have so much less than me. It is one thing to write about my blessings, but a totally different matter trying to live with daily financial concerns. The way we re-act or deal with our financial difficulties can make us poor in spirit. So I ask myself – “Is it possible to find peace, joy, and hope in poverty?”

No matter what our financial situation may be, if our finances are controlling us, we need to take it to the Lord in prayer. Matthew 7:7 reminds us to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” God wants to be involved in every part of our life – even our finances.

PEACE in poverty: Financial poverty brings with it worries about paying bills, making ends meet, and providing basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing). Along with poverty comes worry about the things we have and those we don’t have. Poverty can wear down our spirits and stress can take away our peace. Our worry and stress can only be taken away by Christ.... by finding peace of mind in His promises.

JOY in poverty: When we have the desire for possessions and the love of money filling our heart, there is no room for God to fill our heart with joy. When we seek God more than material things, He can replace our sorrows and burdens with joy. All we need to do is pray, spend time in His presence, praise Him for being with us, and thank Him for providing our daily bread.

HOPE in poverty: Financial burdens are one of the biggest causes for loss of hope in our world today. Everyone is talking about money, or should I say the lack of it. The government is having problems, states have been impacted by natural disasters, and many countries have been impacted with illness and lack of necessities such as water and food. How can we look forward to a promise for a brighter tomorrow when we have no hope for today? Our hope is in the Lord, the same One who brings us peace and fills our hearts with joy.

What the Bible tells us:

Scripture reassures us that even during economic hardship God will be with us. Psalms 35:27 states the Lord takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people. Here are some other Bible verses to remind us that God did not make us (or bring us this far) just to leave us where we are...

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (James 2:5)

“For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of eating well or going hungry of facing either plenty of poverty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within me” (Philippians 4:11-13)

“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5)

The reality of our earthly treasures and financial burdens owning us is not a new concept... Jesus asked the disciples to give up everything to follow Him. The answer to our financial worries, doubts, stress, and fears can be found in Christ alone.

Just as we share our faith and hope in Christ, we need to share our prayer concerns. So, I ask you to keep me in your prayers, and I will do the same for you. If you have prayer requests that you would like to share, please add them to the comment section or send me an email at - donna_a_weaver@hotmail.com. Don’t miss the final segment in my series on materialism – Friday’s BLOG will explore steps we can take for “Financial Peace.”

May you have a week filled with peace, joy, and hope.
Blessings, Donna Weaver

“For He Himself is our peace.”
– Ephesians 2:14

02 September 2011


This is a new segment of my blog where I will be sharing a variety of thoughts, scripture verses, and “sparkle” ideas just for kids. Feel free to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or any other young people that God has put in your life.

KIDZ ☮ PEACE ... The Bible tells us that we need to encourage one another and build each other up. It doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or an adult, everyone needs encouragement! How do you feel when your teacher tells you that you did a good job? What about when your parents cheer you on at a sports game? How about when your best friend says they are glad you are friends? Do you like it when you get an unexpected card or note in the mail? These are all examples of ways that people encourage each other.

1. Who are some of the people in your life that might need encouragement?

How about ... your brothers and sisters, mom & dad, grandparents, pastor, Sunday school teacher, neighbors, friends, teammates & coaches, teacher and others at school like the lunch room workers, janitors, office staff, principal.

2. What are some of the ways you could make a different in the lives of others, to encourage them and give them hope?

• Say “thank you” or “well done”
• Offer a hug, or a “high five”
• Show interest in something they are doing
• When someone is sad or hurt, ask how you can help
• Write a note and tell someone how much they mean to you
• Do something unexpected for someone
• Offer to lend a hand
• Tell people how they have encouraged you

3. What does God’s Word tell us?  When we go to God in prayer, He will help us find the right words to encourage others. And when we read our Bible we can find words that tell us how important it is to encourage each other. Check out these verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ecclesiastes 4:10,12, Proverbs 12:25, 1 John 3:18, Philippians 2:4

Paul and Timothy were friends in the Bible. Paul was much older than Timothy, and he was not only his friend, but a teacher and a mentor. Do you know what the word “mentor” means? A mentor is someone who cares about you – someone who is wise and trusted, and is willing to teach and encourage you. Paul wrote these encouraging words to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” You can find them in your Bible, just look up – 1 Timothy 4:12.

Kidz Thought for the Week: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."  - from Mother Teresa

Keeping you in my prayers.   'til next week.... be an encourager!
God's Peace, Donna

A Closer Look at Shopping Malls

“Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy
things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.”
- Will Rogers

Consumer behavior is greatly influenced by advertising and marketing that target our identity, and tell us that we are what we buy. It also focuses on our social status, and compares what we own to our peers, neighbors, and co-workers. This only proves once again that we are living in a material world.

No Cash Needed:

Shopping malls are one of the biggest sources that feed our problem of materialism. TV commercials, newspaper ads, and retail signs, scream the messages of discounts, bargains and remind us that all credit cards are welcomed. If you don’t have a credit card – no problem, many retailers offer instant credit. And of course, all malls and department stores make ATM’s readily available.

When I was growing up, we had seven children in the family so we couldn’t just take off to the mall and buy whatever we wanted. Mom and dad planned ahead for major purchases, so they could pay cash. In those days credit was not encouraged. If there was something special I wanted that was not a necessity, I had to earn money to pay for it. I used to do a lot of babysitting for my extra spending money, and remember having such a sense of pride when I had saved up enough to pay for a special purchase.

I once read an article that described shopping malls and department stores as “temples of goods.” How true... it doesn’t take much to become slaves to our debt. It is my belief that if we can’t have everything we want at the swipe of a credit card, we begin to appreciate what we do have and with that comes a certain satisfaction and contentment. And one thing this journey has taught me is that when we become content, PEACE follows!

What the Bible tells us:

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Proverbs 22:7).

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).

Mall Theology:

As I was writing this blog, I came across some sermon notes I had written a few years ago. The sermon didn’t have anything to do with materialism, but its lesson seemed to fit well with our talk about shopping malls.  Below there are four categories of people you may find at a shopping mall. In each category, I will compare 3 groups of people: A = shoppers at the mall, B = followers with Jesus, and C = students (anyone) studying God’s Word.

A = This shopper goes to the mall just to watch people and hang out.
B = This follower of Jesus had no investment with people. They were in the crowds just for show, but the next day they would be somewhere else.
C = This person is not sure why they are studying God’s Word, or attending Bible study or small group. They have no investment in learning and don’t put forth any effort, just like to hang out.

A = This shopper likes to browse but has no intention of buying anything. They switch malls constantly.
B = This follower of Jesus left when the price got too high. They had no investment in eternal life and asked God, “What do you have for me?”
C = This person does the basics, just what needs done. They cut back on daily devotions and prayer time.

A = This shopper wants things but doesn’t want to pay the price. They may even make shoplifting a profession.
B = This follower didn’t want to be Christ-like, they just wanted His stuff (power). They wanted the benefits without relationship, or without paying the price.
C = This person wants the end result (the degree, the tools) without doing the work. In the end they are not transformed by Holy Spirit.

A = This shopper’s attitude is “I know what I want and don’t care what it costs.” They are willing to pay the price, to make an investment.
B =This follower was called by Jesus. They were willing to take up the cross and follow Him.
C = This person does what it takes to be transformed, is willing to pay the price, and longs to become more like Jesus.

Now it’s time to take a personal inventory. When we evaluate where we are, it helps us change our ways or set new goals to get to where we want to be. Whatever type of shopper you are really doesn’t matter, but the real questions are ... What type of “follower” and “student” are you?

It’s Friday, Let’s “Sparkle”... action required ... Since this is a holiday weekend, many people have time off of work and will be visiting family, or getting together with friends. Let your attitude (joy, peace and love) reflect His Light in all that you do... walk the walk of faith. Remember: You may be the only Gospel someone ever reads.

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone... stay safe, relax and have fun!
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be
undertaken with painstaking excellence” – Martin Luther King Jr.